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'I Had To Tell Four Of My Squad That They Couldn't Come Here Today'

'I Had To Tell Four Of My Squad That They Couldn't Come Here Today'

Celbridge defeated Round Towers in Group D of the delayed Kildare SFC on Sunday. Sport in Kildare was put on hold in recent weeks due to a local lockdown.

Celbridge, finalists in 2017, are aiming to win their first county football title since their maiden victory in 2008.

Sunday's victors did not have their full complement of players at St Conleth's Park in Newbridge. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, manager Dave Clare had to tell four of his players that they could not attend the game.

"I had to tell four of my squad that they couldn't come here today," Clare told RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport.

"Just terrible stuff and they're some of the worst phone calls I made.

"Conor Doyle, I'll namecheck him, got his cruciate done and I had to ring him and tell him, 'No, you can't come, Conor'."

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Clare continued: "Football is escapism for all of us, whether you are a supporter, player or manager. We all absolutely need it. It's where we get an escape from the trials and tribulations of life. We come out here and watch our team.

"It's about time the government start trusting us, that we can actually deal with it (the Covid-19 pandemic). Let the supporters back in.

"Give us a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Let us prioritise our club members and let us get people back in here, club members who supported us through thick and thin, they need to be here."

Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

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